Spanking Lowers Kids’ IQs: Baristaville vs. Middle America

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (9)

pd_spank_071128_ms.jpgIt was all over the news last weekend: According to a study from the University of Hampshire, spanking kids lowers their IQs. So at least now I know why I didn’t get into Mensa
Joking aside, the study found that spanking a kid ages 2 to 4 will lower her IQ by 5 points. Spank a kid ages 5 to 9, and their IQ points suffer by 2.8 points.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman from The Today Show says continually spanking kids causes stress, and they can’t learn well when they’re stressed. “Spanking takes a toll on brain development,” she stated.
So I asked some parents from Baristaville and also from my hometown near Louisville, Kentucky, whether they spank. I wondered if there’d be a regional difference. Here’s what I found when I asked the question, Do you spank?

Baristaville Parents:
“Never. I was spanked often as a child, and I listened because of fear, not because of a lesson learned.”
“I did give a swift slap to the tush if they ran in the street.”
“I have, but it doesn’t seem to work anyway. So it’s one of my parenting mistakes.”
“Do you mean children…or partners?” (Um, I’m not going to comment on that…)
Middle America Parents:
“There is a difference in a spanking and a beating. Yes, in our house, we have spanked.”
“I don’t believe in beating, but I believe in spanking.”
“Spanking is hitting, and I can’t get my head around spanking my child at one moment only to turn around and try to teach him that it is wrong to hit other people.”
So is there a regional difference in spanking? I would say anecdotally that Middle Americans own up to spanking. Maybe they spank more. But folks in these parts spank, too. In our spanking poll in July, a 46 percent majority of responders spank. What’s your take?
Will spanking keep them out of the Ivy League? Is that the reason we should stop?


  1. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  September 29, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    This study is flawed because most upper income, educated folks don’t spank.
    Therefore, their kids probably score higher on IQ tests not because of spanking, but because they have upper income, educated parents.
    I bet if you look at the income/education distribution, you will find this created IQ deficiency is b/s.
    (Perhaps a journey to the US Census’ America Factfinder is in order… Not for me, I have to work…)

  2. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  September 29, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    Prof is right. The results don’t connect spanking and IQ levels of the spankee, they simply reflect the IQ’s and socioeconomic status of the spanker.
    It would be like saying that kids who wear helmets while biking, skateboarding, etc. have higher IQ’s (which I’ll bet they do) but it has more do to with the kind of parent who enforces those kinds of rules.

  3. POSTED BY walleroo  |  September 29, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

    I would just like to point out that the juxtaposition of the words “spanking” and “jerseygurl” gave me pause.

  4. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  September 29, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    is ‘pause’ a code-word for something else?
    Damn, no wonder my IQ is only 85. It would have been 100 otherwise!

  5. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  September 29, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

    Spanking should only affect IQ if your brains are located in the general area of the spanking.

  6. POSTED BY Carl Bergmanson  |  September 30, 2009 @ 1:13 am

    Next up from the University of Hampshire’s Bad Science Institute:
    Gray hair causes broken hips.

  7. POSTED BY Svenny  |  September 30, 2009 @ 6:41 am

    I can understand a correlation of added stress from spanking to brain development, but I think the correlation of higher educated parents not spanking, and passing on stronger genes to their kids is far higher. I wasn’t spanked as a kid, and frankly cant understand the logic of doing so.

  8. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  September 30, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    (Carl, thanks for the first laugh of the day!!!)

  9. POSTED BY PDeverit  |  October 19, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:
    Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.
    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.
    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.
    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:
    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,
    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,
    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.
    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit
    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:
    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    PsycHealth Ltd Behavioral Health Professionals,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Featured Comment

And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe